Zoca Pizza

Fancy some real pizza? Then Zoca should be on your list of places to visit as it’s run by an Italian pasty chef. That said Zoca offers slightly different pizzas as the owner is from the northern parts of Italy where apparently pizza comes with an extra helping of sauce. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, but I just wanted to give a heads up if you’re used to slightly less saucy pizza.

The toppings are also a bit unusual, but there’s plenty to choose from and there’s likely to be a fair few things to anyone’s liking. Please note that this is a pizza place and as such 99 percent of the menu is pizza, although a few salads and lasagna is also available. The crust on the pizza is thing and very good, something most pizza places in Taipei can’t compete with.

If you think the pizza is good, then you need to try the deserts, as I mentioned, the owner is a pastry chef by trade and makes some fantastic desserts. A must try is the mille foglie, although it’s only available during weekends due to the time it takes to make. That said, he also offers things like apfelstrudel and several Italian types of pastry and pies. You can find more details on Zoca’s web page.

PaPa Gio’

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any new eateries, but last night we went to PaPa Gio’s and if you like good Italian food, this is a place you must go to.

The place used to be called something else, but changed owners and name a few months back and I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine introduce me to PaPa Gio’s.

The chef is a very charismatic Italian and he cooks fabulous food. We had sauteed mushrooms and carpaccio for starters, both were great and for main course we had the quattro  stagioni pizza and the porcini mushroom risotto. Everything was really tasty and there wasn’t a morsel left after we’d stuffed ourselves.

For dessert I had the creme brulee while my friend and Brenda went for the chef’s special, home made cheese cake. Again, everything was really good.

Surprisingly the food is also very affordable, especially considering the location of the restaurant and the quality of the food.

You can find PaPa Gio’s website here and the restaurant is located no more than 5 minutes walk from Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT station, exit 5.

Update: Well, we’ve been back multiple times since I originally wrote this and a few months back one of the owners left. Since then we feel the quality has dropped of the food and our last visit was anything but a good experience.

Update 2: Sadly this place has closed, but Gorgio has started his own placed called Bottega del Vin which I’ll be writing a separate review on at some point.

Imbiss

I got excited when I heard there was a new German restaurant in town with modern influences from Turkey and Greece. We headed over one night in the week to check the place out and sadly it didn’t live up to my expectations, at all.

I’ve been craving Turkish pizza for a while and with that on the menu, this place was a give. However, the fact that the menu I’d found online read beef mince and pepperoni had set off some warning bells, but they weren’t loud enough. The place looked quite cheap when we got there and there were hardly any customers. The orange decor leaves a bit to be desired, but then again, it’s meant to be an affordable place and the decor isn’t the most important thing.

Brenda ordered the Pork knuckle sauerkraut bun and I got the Turkish pizza of course. They offer either a set menu or just the item itself, although you get free hot coffee, hot/cold tea or lemon water with any order. Brenda’s order came first and it was like a small loaf of bread stuffed with loads of sauerkraut and some small bits of grey pork meat. It was really greasy and the best thing was the dip that came with it which was something akin to tzatsiki, but with a strange tartar sauce hint and a slight spiciness. Would’ve been nice with fish, but not this.

So what about the Turkish pizza then? Well, forget about the menu, it’s all lies. Sure, it was folded up to look something like a Turkish pizza, but the crust was rock hard and the filling, well… For starters I found one speck of beef mince in it and there was no pepperoni in it at all. Instead it was loaded with bacon, peppers, onion, tomato, olives and cheese. None of these ingredients would go into a Turkish pizza apart from the tomato, but it would be used for the sauce, not put on as slices. It also looked like they’d never cleaned their pizza oven, as there were loads of grey stuff on the bottom of the pizza which wasn’t very appetizing.

Sure, it was cheap, the Pork knuckle sauerkraut bun was only NT$130 and the so called Turkish pizza another NT$159, but it was also a very disappointing meal. We’re not going back, but hopefully other things on their menu is better. You can find their website here 

Update: This place appears to have closed as well, not a big surprise to be honest.